Electrification is taking over every segment of transportation and now even fire engines are going electric. The Menlo Park Fire District is looking to bring a $6 million electric fire engine to the US.
Rosenbauer, an Austrian-based fire engine manufacturer, has built what it calls “the world’s first fully electric drive fire truck”:
“The future trends such as the silver society, gender shift and individualization suggest that the working methods of fire departments will change fundamentally. The CFT, therefore, stands for an ergonomically optimized vehicle that can be adapted to a wide variety of requirements and operated intuitively. Connectivity, globalization and knowledge culture reflect the importance of communication and digitization in our society. The networking of man and machine will become increasingly important and will also make a decisive contribution to the success of operations. The topics of mobility, new ecology and urbanization are important when it comes to environmental protection and traffic. The Concept Fire Truck is electrically powered and is, therefore, environmentally friendly, maneuverable and safe.”
The electric vehicle, which apparently costs $6 million, is already being tested by fire departments in Europe, but Rosenbauer is looking to bring it to the US.
They revealed that they have been in discussions with the Menlo Park Fire District and they even brought a prototype to California.
Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman told ABC7 News about his intention of purchasing the electric vehicle:
“When I came into the fire service, I was told, ‘The fire service is 200 years of tradition, only impeded by progress. Well, we’re throwing that out. That doesn’t make sense. We’re in Silicon Valley.”
While the price is much higher than a diesel-powered fire truck, which can run up to $1 million, they are expecting some important savings in maintenance costs.
The fire department sent a mechanic, Rudy Torres, to Austria to see if the Rosenbauer electric fire engine could work for them and they are confident it could.
Electric powertrains have fewer moving parts than gas-powered engines and generally require less maintenance.
Rosenbauer says that its electric truck is equipped with a 350 kW electric powertrain. It didn’t disclose the size of its battery pack, but the company says that it can operate for more than 30 minutes.
Now the Menlo Park Fire District is seeking approval from the Fire Board to purchase the vehicle.
“If we do sign a contract, we’re going to be one of the premiere Fire Districts that are going to say, ‘Hey, we helped design this,'”
If they do purchase it, they expect to take delivery in 2022.
Here’s the electric fire engine’s specs sheet:
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